The chemical industry is one of the UK's largest manufacturing sectors with more than 95% of all manufactured products containing inputs from it. Ranking fourth in Europe, the chemical industry also generates a significant trade surplus and accounts for approximately 19% of the UK's exports.
Government and industry need to carefully consider how they respond to the climate challenge, taking into account both the sectors high emissions due to its energy intensiveness and the vital strategic role it plays in the UK economy.
Other key findings of the Tyndall Manchester report conclude:
Reduction in the emission intensity of the industry's energy and feedstock supply will be challenging;
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is an attractive long-term option to reduce emissions, but this requires the development of new infrastructure and integration into processes. This is unlikely to contribute substantially to the UK emission targets prior to 2030;
Waste must be valued as a commodity but using biomass or waste products as a low-carbon energy and feedstock supply is currently not economically viable; and
The industry perceives that UK emission targets are more demanding than the rest of Europe, and certainly the Far and Middle-East and the US. This needs to be addressed if disinvestment is to be curtailed.
Mark Lewis, Technical Manager of NEPIC, added: "The chemical industry in the UK is the leading manufacturing export sector and underpins the advanced manufacturing sector across the economy. It is an essential part of any attempt to move to a low-carbon, advanced economy. But in playing this role in the UK and within the EU it is exposed to a number of challenges, which government and companies need to meet if its contribution to society is to be maintained."
In 2008, the UK Government established the world's first legally binding climate change target through the Climate Cha
|Contact: Aeron Haworth|
University of Manchester